While a lot of people look to the two coasts for the best LGBT cities out there, there are a number of places in the central US that are great places to live. You’ll find a number of gay and lesbian real estate agents in these cities just waiting to help you find the home of your dreams. For our purposes, we’re defining “Central US” as the middle section of the country—Texas and Louisiana up through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan. While some of those states are often classified as Southern or Southwestern, we’re looking at them all as central.
New Orleans, Louisiana
In some ways, New Orleans has the largest pride parade of all—Mardi Gras is certainly a gay ol’ time! The city is also very welcoming, which should be expected since it’s built upon a melting pot of different cultures, languages, and traditions.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is home to a gay rodeo association, has had three out elected city officials, and offers a number of LGBT bars and clubs all along Manchester Avenue. That’s the St. Louis version of San Francisco’s Castro, and in some ways, it’s even more impressive because it’s located in Missouri, a state few people associate with the LGBT community.
Chicago’s Boystown was the country’s first official gay village, and the city’s LGBT community is still going strong. While Boystown continues to offer a number of different amenities for gays and lesbians, several other Chicago neighborhoods are giving the traditional gay ghetto a run for its money.
A good five percent of the people who live in the Austin metro area identify as LGBT, and the city has elected an out lesbian mayor. Many LGBT groups are active in the area, too, and the city’s pride festival is one of the largest in the state. Austin also hosts the annual Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, making it a great place to live or visit if you love movie making or films. The city also has a number of LGBT sports leagues.
Dallas is another very liberal part of Texas, and, in fact, the LGBT presence in local government is one of the highest in the nation. The city has had a number of LGBT city counselors, county judges, and sheriff. Out and proud judges, county clerks, constables, and school board members have all won elections, multiple times, showing that very few people in Dallas care about sexual orientation when it comes to serving as leaders in the community.